With so much to see and do in New Orleans, you might not know where to start. If you want to get the biggest bang for your bucks while visiting the Big Easy—and of course you do—get the New Orleans Power Pass. Like tourist passes in other cities, the Power Pass grants access to tons of popular attractions for one fee.
New Orleans aficionado and Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunt Host extraordinaire Sharlette Williams recommends the three-day version. It’ll run you $170 per adult and $130 per child (not counting frequent online discounts). That means for less than $60 a day, you can bounce from museum to tour to cooking school and get more than your money’s worth. Here are Sharlette’s top picks for making the most of your New Orleans Power Pass.
1. New Orleans Bus Tour: Do this the morning of your first day because it will show you places you might want to come back to on your own time. And considering it’s normally $46 a pop, the tour is one of the priciest attractions available on the Power Pass. Definitely do all the most expensive things first to get the most out of the pass.
2. Paddle Wheeler Creole Queen: This was one of the best historic tours I have ever experienced. Our guide was fantastic. His name is Christopher Tidmore and he is the one who trains all the other tour guides that work there. If you can call ahead and find out if he will be the tour guide, DO IT! The ride is nice, the stories are in-depth, and the drinks are OK.
3. New Orleans School of Cooking: This class is normally $28, so it’s a solid bet for getting your money’s worth. We had an absolute blast at this cooking class. Our instructor was amazing and very knowledgeable. You will leave this class enlightened about not only the food but the part of New Orleans culture and history that helped create the food.
4. Mardi Gras World: Honestly, I don’t “die over” Mardi Gras World. But it’s one of those New Orleans things that you have to do so you can say you’ve done it. My best friend liked it more than I did. This is where 98 percent of all Mardi Gras floats are manufactured. It has been around for decades, and they know their stuff. They show you a film, you get a piece of King Cake, and they walk you through the entire warehouse. The regular price is $20.
5. Swamp Tour: There are two companies that offer swamp tours through the Power Pass. If you are short on time you should do the Ultimate Swamp Tour. The launching area is less than 20 minutes from New Orleans. The other company’s tour starts about 40 minutes away. A swamp tour is one of those uniquely Gulf-State things that you can only do down here, so take advantage if you can.
6. Walking Tours: There are a bunch, including haunted tours, scandal tours, history tours, and cemetery tours. Choose the one—or a few— that suit you. They are usually $25, so this is another good bet, economically speaking.
7. Plantation Tours: If you have time, get out and visit some of the plantations. However, they are usually not too expensive and they can be far from the city. If you choose a tour on the cheaper end—they range from $5 to $20 per person—it might not be the best use of your Power Pass.
8. World War II Museum: This is one of my favorite museums in the country, and it is wonderfully comprehensive. Even people who aren’t necessarily museum fans or history buffs can really enjoy this place.
9. The Cabildo: It’s a fantastic little museum that you can enjoy in a very short time if you are into history. It’s a great compromise for groups or couples with mixed interests. They have an engaging exhibit on the War of 1812 and Napoleon’s Death Mask. Normal admission is just $6. They also give discounts to military and police officers.
10. The Presbytere: This is the “twin” building of the Cabildo and houses two museums. One is the Katrina Museum, which is a MUST-SEE. The other is the Mardi Gras Museum. Again, just $6.
11. New Orleans Museum of Art: This place is small, but they pack a lot into this little building. It’s a fun little art museum that you can see all in one trip.
Bonus Tip: Once you’ve made the most of your Power Pass, consider booking a private Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunt in the French Quarter, the New Orleans Museum of Art, or just about anywhere else in the city. Contact us to learn more—and find more fun in New Orleans!